Peck Place Parents and Students Check Out The New School Space at Yale

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Jan 292014

The front entrance to the new Yale-Peck Place school.

The front entrance to the new Yale-Peck Place school.

The parking lot of the Yale West Campus saw more full parking spaces on Tuesday night than since it was home to the Showcase Cinemas decades ago.

Parents and students from the Peck Place community flocked to the site to get their first glimpse of the new Peck Place School digs in a corner section of the vast college campus.

Supt. Lynn McMullin and just about everyone from the Orange Board of Education were on hand for the open house, including Principal/Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Mary L. Tracy, Colleen Murray, who greeted and hugged the children just as she did when she was principal of Turkey Hill School.

Peck Place Principal Eric Carbone stopped to talk to as many of the 375 children and their parents as he could. One boy who hadn’t seen him in a while asked why he had a beard.

“I’ll shave it again soon,” he assured the child.

Of his school’s new temporary home, Carbone said, “We love it. It’s outstanding. It was a total team effort from everybody in Orange to everybody at Yale to make this happen. The kids are ecstatic , they want to see it, explore their new spaces, and tomorrow will definitely be a great day.”

First Grade teacher Pattie Moffet greeted her students and graciously accepted a large box of hand wipes from a parent. She spoke to selectman Mitch Goldblatt and explained how wonderful everyone was in getting the space set up for the kids.

Another teacher told parents that one difference between Peck and the Yale Campus was that there are no water fountains, so children will have to bring bottled water that can be refilled in the sink, but she was delighted that the movers brought her tissue boxes over from her old classroom.

She hugged students that she hadn’t seen in a while and told them that they would all be together again tomorrow.

Parents seemed to be very impressed and pleased with the look and layout of the space. “Our kids will be begging to go to school now,” one dad told an administrator.

Rebecca Brandriff, Director of Finance and Administration for the Yale-West Campus has been especially busy this month.

Her job was to get all the necessary approvals from the University to move Peck Place to the West Campus and helping Carbone facilitate the move from one school to another.

“Eric has been wonderful,” she said of Carbone and her experiences working with him in this crisis.

As far as the school busses dropping off and picking up and having everything run smoothly Brandriff said, “We have a map, we have a plan and all of our staff is aware of what is happening — we’re looking forward to the first day.

She said the campus has beautiful hiking trails that teachers and students can use and nature often comes to the building which will thrill the children. “We have lots of deer that walk around here and the kids will be able to see them up close as they eat their lunch in the cafeteria,” she said. “I know they’ll love it.”

One special event awaits the sixth graders in June. Brandriff said Yale West will host their graduation ceremony in the campus auditorium. They will be able to say that they graduated “at” Yale — not “from” Yale — but pretty darn close.

A parent named John said his son will miss his new friends at Race Brook School, but it will be nice to get back to some sort of normalcy with his old classmates.

The Peck Place Students are expected to arrive at the Yale West Campus Wednesday morning shortly after 8 a.m. to the bright lights and big cameras of the local news media. (Update: The snow caused a 2 hour delay this morning)

We wish everyone luck and happiness in your new “temporary” home.





Supt. McMullin addresses Peck Place Families re: Yale Move

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Jan 212014

Peck Place School

Peck Place School

The following letter is posted on the Orange Elementary Schools Website and was sent out to school news subscribers:

Dear Peck Place Families and our Wider School Community, 

As you may have read in the press releases, our place at Yale is secure through the end of the school year. This long-range date will even enable a jumpstart on the roof project we were planning for this summer.

More importantly, we are closing in on a definite move-in date for the kids. Eric and the key officials supporting Principal Eric Carbone — from Yale security to the Yale movers to the Orange and West Shore fire marshals — meet daily to go over the punch lists and evaluate our progress.

This move is so much more complicated than just packing up the curriculum and furniture. Exit signs needed to be lowered; we needed to bring in bottled water and a PA system; the doors all need panic bar installations. There are more permits than anyone ever imagined. The elevators need to be refitted with keycard access, and Eric must provide his staff, and you, with a new handbook.

We are nearly there! We fully expect to announce a definite move-in date on Friday afternoon, after our last punch-list review. But here are some updates by which you can judge the progress.

• Myers is moving Peck to Yale on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week.

• On Monday, we are giving the Peck teachers a full day to unpack and set up their classrooms. (We’re hiring substitutes for Race Brook and Turkey Hill to help the classroom teachers that day.)

• Eric is scheduling a staff meeting, as there are  many new rules and protocols to review.

• Plans are already underway for the Open House, when you and your children can visit Yale, and then we’ll open the doors for the First Day at Yale.

• The Peck facility is still completely closed and off-limits. Please don’t visit.

• One section of the building is abated and was being air-quality tested today (Tues. Jan. 21)

• Mike Luzzi, our Facilities Manager, and Scott Allen, Orange Sewer Superintendent and Wetlands Officer, are working collaboratively on the Peck clean-up

• We are putting our full efforts towards a lofty goal, using the mantra ‘clean and pristine,’ before the kids’ return.

Lynn K. McMullin